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    Have You Earned Your Freedom?

    May 2, 2022
    1 Comment

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    It was at a recent dinner party that the predictably charged topic of politics arose.  Of course, the hottest item, in the last couple of weeks, has been the Elon Musk purchase of Twitter and the far-reaching consequences of his intention to open up the social media site to all points of view – many of which have been banned and hermetically silenced.

    Among the seven of us sitting at the dinner table, six were quick to point out that it’s just too dangerous to allow a free-flow of information to exist, given the vast amount of “ignorant and misinformed” people who don’t have the ability to decipher truth from fake news.  In their poor attempt not to sound too condescending, they all assured me that I was excluded from those inferior masses to which they were referring.

    It’s astonishing to hear people, who would definitely describe themselves as liberal, open-minded and tolerant, say that anyone who does not conform to their way of thinking is undeserving of the fullest extent of freedom, the ability to hear all sides and to, consequently, be afforded the right to come to their own conclusions.

    Yet, that’s where today’s left have gone – to a place which demands total conformity with their conclusions. Any departure from their preferred positions loses one the right to receive a variety of opposing opinions which could offer cogent and respectable arguments in order to convince others that, perhaps, there’s another dimension worth considering.

    Of course, in the perfect world of the left, a plethora of ideas would be superfluous, because everyone would automatically arrive at the same position, so no need to hear any opposing viewpoint.  It’s “thought lockstep” pure and simple!

    But this idea of somehow being unworthy or intellectually inferior, as a justification to block the free flow of information, is gaining support by the progressive left who do their utmost to libel and denigrate mostly conservatives who ascribe to a different opinion than theirs.  It is how they ridiculed and made fun of Trump voters who were called “rubes” on CNN during a Don Lemon interview back in January 2020.  

    Being condescending is an integral part of the game. Because if you can show that inferior species are incapable of making clear and informed decisions, based on their low-information aptitude, you can then argue the fact that their rights should be annulled.

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    However, it’s worth exploring the question as to whether or not freedom must be earned or validated in order to be an active participant in its benefits.  It wasn’t so long ago that blacks and women were looked upon as too inferior and less endowed with the requisite amount of intelligence in order to be eligible to vote.  According to Britannica.com, some of the reasons cited for women being unable to vote were:

    1. The mental exertion of voting being the cause of infertility in women;
    2. Women’s brains being inferior to men’s
    3. The possibility that women would neglect their home and family

    Likewise, ridiculous and absurd claims were made against blacks as the demands for poll taxes, literacy tests and other prohibitive measures succeeded in shutting them out from the same freedoms enjoyed by other American citizens deemed, in those days, to be superior. 

    So how did we go back 100 years in time to where freedom, democracy and the right of expression are now considered a privilege of the uber-intelligent and sophisticated hierarchy who self-appointed themselves to those high perches? 

    Simple!  It’s a calculated strategy which is employed only after realizing that one’s attempts to convince the other side have failedover and over again, and now the only effective thing remaining is a smear campaign which endeavors to paint the opposition as inferior, lacking in intelligence, sophistication and reason. It portrays them as unworthy candidates who must be prevented from taking part in the First Amendment.  

    Of course, it makes sense from their point of view.  After all, if opposing positions emanate from inferior thought, by those who are incapable of drawing “the right conclusions,” then why allow them to post anything online?  The contamination of their polluted reasoning must be avoided at all costs, lest they somehow infect others who could end up being convinced that what they’re saying makes sense.

    The best way to avoid such an erroneous thought pandemic is to nip it in the bud before it does real harm to society as a whole, and that is exactly what freaks them out about a new Twitter boss whose outstretched arms are waving in a host of ideas, perspectives and varying viewpoints.  To them, it is the greatest threat to the acquisition of power that they have long hoped to gain, and so Elon Musk represents the new cancer in our midst.

    What is sad is that the real threat is a fast-growing group of intolerant snobs who have convinced themselves that what they are doing, by denying equal voices to all, is virtuous, righteous and even justified.  They will sit there and shout you down in order to shame you into agreement, but that’s exactly where the battlefield must be won!  It is only by proving their own biases, prejudices and smug superiority that, perhaps, will reveal what they are playing into – a repeat of an ugly portion of history where certain segments of the population hadn’t, in the mind of some, earned the right of full participation into society.

    Freedom is not earned.  Expression of thoughts is also not earned.  They are fundamental rights and privileges which belong to all of humanity, and whether or not you like, agree with or support what is being expressed, it is still the prerogative of each individual to freely say what they think.  It’s about time that this bigoted strategy was called out for what it is – a power grab through means of snobbery, smearing and bullying into silence.

    If anything has to be earned, it’s the need to respect everyone regardless of political affiliation or societal and cultural preference.  Because if we, as the human species, cannot absorb the vast landscape of opinions and thoughts we collectively bring to the table, then none of us will have earned the right to participate in the human fabric of life which must learn to accept one another as distinctively valued and those who possess unique worth!  



    Cookie Schwaeber-Issan

    A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the U.S. before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives near Tel Aviv with her husband.
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    Anti-freedom is anti-Christ.


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